Best Hiking T-Shirts for Women


Ibex All Day

Ibex All Day

When the weather gets too warm for wearing a long-sleeved baselayer, what’s better than throwing on a short-sleeved shirt and feeling the sun and wind on your arms? However, your everyday cotton t-shirt won’t perform well here as cotton is poor at regulating your body’s temperature, absorbs a lot of moisture and dries very slow (read more in the article Why is cotton bad for hiking). You should instead go for a proper hiking shirt made of either lightweight Merino wool and/or a synthetic blend (polyester, nylon, spandex etc.) to ensure that it has qualities such as being breathable, temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking, quick-drying and anti-microbial (Merino wool provides this naturally). Some people might still think that Merino wool garments are suitable only for hiking in cold weather, but nothing could be further from the truth as long as the fabric is thin and lightweight. To learn more about the properties of different baselayer materials, go to our article comparing the various fabrics. Below we have made a selection of the best hiking t-shirts for women, which you can wear over a medium support or high-impact sports bra depending on your preferences and activity level. Just remember sunscreen!

1. Buying a Hiking T-Shirt – What is important?

Material

The material of your hiking shirt influences your performance on the trails in the summertime as it determines whether the respective garment offers proper ventilation, moisture-wicking and a comfortable body temperature. Such qualities can be found in sophisticated synthetic blends as well as lightweight Merino wool fabrics, potentially mixed with a bit of nylon fibers to increase the durability (read more about the durability of Merino wool in our article How durable are Merino garments?). Merino wool garments for summer use should naturally be made of thin and lightweight fabrics (<175g/m2).

Fit

It’s very individual how tight a fit one prefers for hiking clothes, but do keep in mind that a slightly loose fit will offer better ventilation than a very tight. On the other hand, a too loose fit can cause problems if you are wearing a backpack as it is easy for the fabric to bundle up and start chafing at your skin.

UPF-rating

It is definitely an advantage if your hiking shirt offers UV-protection. This will usually be indicated through a UPF-rating, especially when it comes to synthetic garments. The UPF-rating of a garment indicates how much UV-radiation it can protect against; a hiking shirt with a UPF20 blocks all but 1/20 (≈5%) of UV-rays. The UPF-rating is dependent on various factors such as tightness of weave (think denim versus loose knits), fiber type (wool, polyester, cotton etc.), amount of stretch, dyes, treatments and condition of the garment (brand-new or worn-out). Read more in our article Sun Protective Clothing for Hiking.

2. The Best Women’s Hiking T-Shirts for 2017  Review

Best Hiking T-Shirts for Women

Best Hiking T-Shirts for Women

  1. Ibex All Day
  2. Icebreaker Aero
  3. Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker AC
  4. Columbia Silver Ridge Zero
  5. Outdoor Research Echo

Comparison

Feature/Product Ibex All Day Icebreaker AeroMountain Hardwear CoolHiker ACColumbia Silver Ridge ZeroOutdoor Research Echo
Material87% Merino wool, 13% nylon90% Merino wool, 10% nylonDry Touch spun poly jersey (96% polyester; 4% elastane)80% polyester / 20% cotton100 % polyester
FitRegular RegularRegularRegularTrim fit
UV Protectionn/a (probably UPF20+)n/a (probably UPF20+)n/an/aUPF15
Ibex All Day

Ibex All Day

1. Ibex All Day

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Ibex All Day is made of a great blend of light-weight Merino fibers (87%) spun around a core of nylon (13%) which enhances the durability of the fabric while it still provides all the characteristics of Merino wool such as breathability, natural UV-protection, anti-odor and temperature-regulating properties. The fabric is also slightly less soft to the touch than pure Merino fabrics (if you are looking for a 100% Merino t-shirt, check out the Ibex Od Heather tee). The All Day shirt is made with flatlock seams and for additional comfort, there is no horizontal seam on the top of the shoulders in order to prevent potential chafing and irritation from the straps of your backpack. It comes in black and three bright colors.

 

Pros:

  • All the benefits of Merino wool combined with nylon for durability
  • Flatlock seams
  • Natural UV-protection

Cons:

  • /

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Icebreaker Aero

Icebreaker Aero

2. Icebreaker Aero

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

Icebreaker is the grand old lady when it comes to producing Merino wool garments for hiking and offers a wide range of hiking shirts with varying amounts of Merino fibers (from 46% to 100 %) and fabric densities. The absolute lightest is the Icebreaker Aero , listed as “featherweight” (fabric density of merely 120 g/m2) which is made of 90% premium Merino wool and 10% nylon. Icebreaker Aero is made with flatlock seams and has forward set side seams for added comfort. The t-shirt is available in a range of crisp colors, but if you are looking for a Merino t-shirt with a little more flavor in terms of print etc. you might to check out the Icebreaker Tech Lite tee which is available with various cool prints and graphics.

 

Pros:

  • All the benefits of Merino wool combined with nylon for durability
  • Flatlock seams
  • Natural UV-protection

Cons:

  • /

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Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker AC

Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker AC

3. Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker AC

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker AC is made of the lightweight and moisture-wicking Dry Touch spun poly jersey which features the Wick.Q technology to keep you cool and dry. The fabric is also treated with an antimicrobial finish to help fight odor. Construction-wise, the CoolHiker AC shirt has several nice details such as side slits for more freedom of movement, a dropped tail hem for extra coverage and a perforated backpanel for superb ventilation – especially if you are wearing a backpack. Like the other hiking shirts in this review, the Mountain Hardwear t-shirt is constructed without horizontal seams on top of the shoulders which could otherwise lead to chafing and irritation under the straps of a backpack. The Mountain Hardwear CoolHiker AC shirt is available in white, grey, petroleum blue and orange.

 

Pros:

  • Superb wicking material
  • Perforated backpanel for extra ventilation
  • Antimicrobial finish

Cons:

  • /

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Video

Columbia Silver Ridge Zero

Columbia Silver Ridge Zero

4. Columbia Silver Ridge Zero

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Columbia Silver Ridge Zero might look like a regular cotton blend t-shirt (80% polyester, 20% cotton), but the fabric is actually very sophisticated due to its use of Omni-Wick™ EVAP and Omni-Freeze™ ZERO technology. The Omni-Wick™ EVAP ensures that perspiration is wicked efficiently away by dispersing it across a broad surface area for faster evaporation while the Omni-Freeze™ ZERO consists of small blue rings with sweat-activated cooling agents on the inside of the fabric (see more in the video below). A small amount of cotton has been added to the material to give the t-shirt a cotton-like feel and look.  The Columbia Silver Ridge Zero shirt is available in different shades of grey, blue and a light peachy shade.

 

Pros:

  • Superb wicking material due to Omni-Wick™ EVAP
  • Sweat-activated cooling technology Omni-Freeze™ ZERO
  • Cotton-like softness

Cons:

  • /

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Video

Outdoor Research Echo

Outdoor Research Echo

5. Outdoor Research Echo

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing

The Outdoor Research Echo is perfect for hot summer days as it is light-weight, moisture-wicking and quick drying. These qualities can be attributed to the sophisticated AirVent fabric which offers a UPF-rating of 15 (meaning that it deflects all but 1/15≈ 6,7% of UV-rays) and also have been treated with the anti-odor agent Polygiene. To reduce the possibility of chafing, the t-shirt is sewed with flatlock stitches and has Raglan sleeves – meaning that each sleeve extends to the collar in one piece, leaving a diagonal seam from underarm to collarbone rather than one on the top of your shoulders where it could chafe under the pressure of a backpack. The Outdoor Research Echo is available in a wide range of colors.

 

Pros:

  • Superb wicking AirVent fabric
  • Flatlock seam construction and raglan sleeves
  • Treated with Polygiene for odor control

Cons:

  • /

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Video

 

3. The most attractive product in the review

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